5 Clever Horror Movies’ Decisions That Prove Characters Don’t Really Have to Be Stupid

5 Clever Horror Movies’ Decisions That Prove Characters Don’t Really Have to Be Stupid
Image credit: Universal Pictures, Warner Bros.

While many horror films still rely on their characters’ stupid decisions to move the story forward, these five prove that it's not necessary at all.

All too often in horror movies, characters make extremely stupid decisions for the sake of moving the plot forward, and while some filmmakers are trying to move away from this annoying trope, it still doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.

However, there are some notable exceptions to the rule, so let's take a look at five of the smartest decisions in horror movies that felt like a breath of fresh air compared to the other installments in the genre.

The Invisible Man (2020)

Leigh Whannell's take on one of the classic movie monsters was highly praised by critics and fans upon its release, thanks in no small part to some pretty smart decisions made by its protagonist, Cecilia, played by Elisabeth Moss.

One of the most notable was when she figured out how to lure out her stalker by faking a suicide attempt, and the fact that she didn't take any chances with Adrian at the end of the movie, brutally killing him, also earns Cecilia a spot on our list.

Event Horizon (1997)

After witnessing what happened to the crew of the ghost ship, Laurence Fishburne's Captain Miller makes the most logical decision and immediately says, "We're leaving."

Of course, the cursed ship doesn't allow our heroes to do so, but the fact that a competent professional does exactly what he's supposed to does make an otherwise mediocre movie stand out from the rest.

Get Out (2017)

Jordan Peele's Get Out has been hailed as one of the greatest modern horror masterpieces, and it's easy to see why.

Aside from a well-written story and great acting, Daniel Kaluuya's Chris makes one of the most ingenious decisions in horror movies, plugging his ears with cotton he pulled out of his chair to avoid being hypnotized again.

The Thing (1982)

How do you spot a shape-shifting alien hiding among a group of your friends and colleagues?

Kurt Russell's R.J. MacReady made the brilliant decision to use a hot wire on blood samples from each member of the crew, which worked to great effect.

In the 2011 prequel of the same name, Mary Elizabeth Winstead's Kate Lloyd came up with a similar test by checking her colleagues for dental fillings, since the alien can't absorb non-organic matter.

However, this solution is much more flawed than MacReady's, for obvious reasons.

The Shining (1980)

This case is especially satisfying when you consider that it was a kid who came up with a simple but brilliant idea.

While being chased through the hedge maze by his crazy father, Danny Torrance backtracks through his own footprints to confuse Jack, which worked perfectly.